Preds host Wild with Home Ice on the line…
The Nashville Predators host the Minnesota Wild tonight at Bridgestone Arena in the fourth & final meeting of the season between the old & new teams of Craig Leipold. The Preds lead the season series 2-1 winning the most recent contest 5-4 on 1/31 at Xcel Energy Center.
The Preds look to get back on track after a roller coaster of a week with home ice for the first round of the playoffs still on the line. Now a 3 team race, the Preds can claim the 4th spot by winning out the final 3 games of the regular season. Minnesota has been out of it for a while now, but is playing loose & making trouble for contenders around the Western Conference & could determine the 4-5-6 slots (1 game at Nash & 1 more with Chi). With these final 2 home games of the season, you can expect to see Goaltender Pekka Rinne start in both & if seeding is locked in, Anders Lindback may get final game of season in Colorado.
With all players listed as healthy, it will be interesting to see how Head Coach Barry Trotz will manage the roster. There is still some juggling to do & you can expect to see many different line combinations to get everyone going in the right direction for the playoffs which begin on 4/11. Next up for the Preds is a desperate but struggling Dallas team that will visit Bridgestone Arena for the final home game of the season for Nashville.
F Colin Wilson has been listed as a healthy scratch for the past couple games as he recovers from a groin strain.
The bottom line…
The Nashville Predators are 45-26-8 (98 Pts) with 3 games remaining and sit 3rd in The Central Division, 8 Pts behind St Louis (3 GR) & 1 Pt behind Detroit (3 GR).
-In the Western Conference the Predators are in 5th, with the chase pack: 6 Chicago (98 Pts 2 GR), 7 Phoenix (91 Pts 3 GR) & 8 San Jose (90 Pts GR 3), 9 Dallas (89 3 GR).
-The Predators begin the final home stand of the year tonight Vs Minnesota 7CT, Thurs Vs Dallas 7CT.
-F Alex Radulov has recorded 6 points in 6 games since returning from the KHL.
-F Patric Hornqvist leads the Preds in goals scored with 25; Mike Fisher has 24.
-F Martin Erat & D Ryan Suter are tied for team lead on the Preds with 39 Assists.
-F Martin Erat leads the Preds in overall scoring with 58 points (career high).
-F Jordin Tootoo leads the Preds in penalty minutes with 92 & D Shea Weber leads the team in hits with 175.
-G Pekka Rinne leads the NHL in wins with 42 & has now played in 71 games (previous high 64 last season).
Leg-watch 500- With 2A Vs Chicago, David Legwand now has 500 points (franchise scoring leader) in his career (187 G 313 A) with the Predators.
Rivalry week continues,
“Crazy” Charlie Saunier